THS students head to national SkillsUSA event

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Three Temple High School teens are going to nationals with their SkillsUSA project this month.

Chase Fowler, Kaley McCormick and Alyssa Garza assembled a health and physical education afterschool program for young children to enter in the SkillsUSA Human Services category. The national competition will be June 19-23 in Louisville, Ky.

“We did this program because we noticed how most kids these days just watch TV instead of actually getting physical activity after school,” Kaley said.

The team has worked with local businesses such as Extreme Cheer & Tumble to test their project in the real world.

“We do, like, healthy snacks and activities like games and obstacle courses and stuff like that,” Chase said.

At nationals, the team will have a booth with materials illustrating what they have done and each member will be prepared to give a brief speech explaining the purpose and execution of their project.

“The main thing for scoring is a speech — we all have to talk for eight minutes,” Chase said.

The team will use a variety of visual aids to show how their project works.

“It’s a mixture of a PowerPoint, then we’re actually going to take in … an obstacle, like we’re going to take basketball goals,” Alyssa said. “We’re going to have two that like they can get the actual physical activity of what we’re teaching the kids and then we’re going to have some of the snacks that we actually give the kids there for them to eat.”

The team has to demonstrate an ability to promote their curriculum as well as executing it with local children, making pages on social media and preparing fliers.

All three said they were surprised when they learned they had earned a gold medal at state in April, qualifying them for the national competition.

“SkillsUSA is basically a leadership (competition),” said Lori McCormick, career and technical education teacher and Kaley’s mother. “It teaches them so many different things they could possibly learn to be ready for the workforce later in life, and communication is a main part.”

McCormick said putting together a Human Services project for SkillsUSA helps students overcome shyness in public speaking and learn problem-solving skills.

“We never dreamed that our journey would give us gold,” McCormick said.

All three juniors are thinking about finding a career where they will work with children. Taking an education class helped them come up with their project idea, although they have not yet decided if they want to pursue education professionally.

“They each of them took my Human Services class,” McCormick said. “I told them, no matter what profession you take, you’ll work with children.”

The key to getting children interested in health, the team said, is fun.

“And patience,” Alyssa added.